Charles V

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Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor as played by Sebastian Armesto
Motto : "Plus Ultra" or "Further Beyond"

born February 24, 1500 - died 1558
Reigned from 1516 - 1556 ( his abdication)

Character's backstory: Charles was born in the Flemish city of Ghent. With the death of his grandfather Ferdinand II on January 23, 1516, Charles inherited the Crown of Aragon, which consisted of Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, Naples, Sicily & Sardinia. He also became joint ruler of Castile with, & guardian of, his insane mother Joanna. With the Castilian crown he also gained the Spanish possessions in the New World.
For the first time the crowns of Castile and Aragon were united in one person. Ferdinand and Isabella had each been sovereign in one kingdom, but only consort in the other
As the first monarch to reign in his own right over both the Kingdom of Castile and the Crown of Aragon he is often considered as the first King of Spain, with the name of Charles I.
By the time he was 20, in 1520, Charles V ruled the largest collection of European land since Charlemagne over 700 years earlier. Charles was Duke of Burgundy, King of the Spanish Empire and the Habsburg territories, which included Austria and Hungary, as well as Holy Roman Emperor; he continued to acquire more land throughout his life. Problematically for Charles, but interestingly for historians, he acquired these lands piecemeal - there was no single grand inheritance - and many of the territories were independent countries with their own systems of government and little common interest. This empire, or monarchia, may have brought Charles power, but it also caused him great problems.

Gentility: son of Queen Juanna of Castile "Joanna the Mad" and King Philip I "the Fair"

Position: King of Spain, Holy Roman Emperor

Personality type: Dignified, conservative, sensible & politically savvy. A catholic zealot.

Signature look: huge chin! Charles suffered from an enlarged lower jaw, a deformity which got considerably worse in later Habsburg generations. He struggled to chew his food properly and consequently experienced bad indigestion for much of his life. As a result, he usually ate alone

Endearing trait(s): at times moderate and patient with so-called heretics. He was not cruel, indeed the character of his reign was peculiarly merciful. But he was somewhat unforgiving and he especially resented any slight upon his honour.

Annoying trait(s): self interested & obstinate. Broke promises as often as he made them
Charles V

Charles V

Note: Combining the heritage of the German Habsburg, the House of Burgundy, and the Spanish heritage of his mother, Charles transcended ethnic and national boundaries.The culture and courtly life of the Burgundian Low Countries were an important influence in his early life. He spoke five different languages: Flemish, German, Spanish, French, and Italian. He spoke French as his mother language and Flemish from his childhood years, later adding a poor but acceptable Spanish and some German. He has been attributed with saying :
"I speak Spanish to God,
Italian to women,
French to men,
and German to my horse."

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Family members:
Parents - Philip the Handsome of Burgundy and Joanna the Mad of Aragon,(third child of Ferdinand & Isabella of Aragon)
Paternal grandparents - Emperor Maximilian & Mary of Burgundy whose daughter Margaret raised him.
Maternal grandparents - Ferdinand II of Aragon & Isabella I of Castille
Aunt - Queen Katherine of Aragon
Cousin - Princess Mary Tudor
Son - Philip II of Spain (who married Mary I)

Henry VIII, when it suited them both
Francis I, when it suited them both

Henry VIII, especially after his divorce from Katherine of Aragon
Francis I, when it suited them both

Isabella of PortugalIsabella of Portugal 1526 - 1539
(daughter of Manuel I of Portugal & Maria of Aragon - Queen Katherine of Aragon's sister)
5 children

Charles had several mistresses (courted them before and after his marriage to Isabella). Two of them gave birth to two future governors of the Habsburg Netherlands:
Johanna Maria van der Gheynst bore Margaret of Parma
Barbare Blomberg bore John of Austria.


map of Holy Roman EmpireIn the mid 1500's the Holy Roman Empire was a piecemeal grouping of over 300 territories, which varied from large dukedoms to single cities; although largely independent, they all owed some form of loyalty to the Emperor. After Luther ignited a massive religious debate in 1517, via the publication of his 95 Theses, many German territories adopted his ideas and converted away from the existing Catholic Church. However, the Empire was an intrinsically Catholic institution, and the Emperor was the secular head of a Catholic Church that now regarded Luther's ideas as heresy. In 1521 Emperor Charles V pledged to remove the Lutherans (this new branch of religion was not yet called Protestantism) from his kingdom, with force if necessary.



Charles V
Charles V
Charles V

Charles V
Charles & Katherine
Charles V

Charles V
Charles V
Katherine & Charles
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Charles & Mary
Charles V